Posted in days out, shropshire, telford

Shropshire

The Summer Holidays have started and similar to last year I already have a list as long as my arm of new places I want to visit and regular spots we go to every year. Living in Shropshire means there is already so much available on our doorstep so I thought I’d share some of the beautiful places we plan on visiting this Summer.

Telford

Apley Woods (free parking) – http://www.apleywoods.co.uk/
Telford Town Park (£ parking) – http://www.telfordtownpark.co.uk/
The Wrekin (free parking) – https://www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/enjoying-the-shropshire-hills/places-to-visit/the-wrekin/
SunnyCroft (National Trust) – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sunnycroft
Exotic Zoo (admission prices) – https://exoticzoo.co.uk/
Blists Hill (admission prices) – https://www.ironbridge.org.uk/explore/blists-hill-victorian-town/
Enginuity (admission prices) – https://www.ironbridge.org.uk/explore/enginuity
Telford Steam Railway (admission prices) – https://telfordsteamrailway.co.uk/
Wonderland (admission prices) – https://wonderlandmidlands.co.uk/
Hoo Farm (admission prices) – https://www.hoofarm.com/
Airea 51 (admission prices) – https://airea51.co.uk/
Dale End Park Ironbridge (£ parking) – https://www.familiesonline.co.uk/local/shropshire/listing/dale-end-park/

Shrewsbury

Lyth Hill (free parking) – http://www.shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk/site/lyth-hill-countryside-site/
Haughmond Hill (£ parking) – https://www.forestryengland.uk/haughmond-hill There is currently a Zog Activity Trail for little ones to take part in (£3)
Shrewsbury Quarry Park https://originalshrewsbury.co.uk/visit/quarry-park
Attingham Park (National Trust) – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park/

Shropshire

The Mere (Ellesmere) – https://www.ellesmere.info/
Hawkstone Park Follies – (admission prices) https://www.hawkstoneparkfollies.co.uk
Severn Valley Country Park (Bridgnorth) – http://www.shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk/site/severn-valley-country-park/
Shugborough Estate (Staffordshire) (National Trust) – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/shugborough-estate
Wightwick Manor and Gardens (Wolverhampton) (National Trust) – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wightwick=manor-and-gardens/
Wroxeter Roman City (Wroxeter) (admission prices) – https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/wroxeter-roman-city/
Shawbury Fruit Farmhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Shawbury-Fruit-Farm/1459068914331637
RAF Cosford (£ parking – free admission) – https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/
Cbeebies Land/Alton Towers (admission prices) – https://www.altontowers.com/
Rays Farm (admission prices) – https://raysfarm.com/
Ludlow Castle (admission prices) – https://www.ludlowcastle.com/
David Austin Roses (Albrighton) – https://www.davidaustinroses.co.uk/david-austin-rose-gardens
Bridgnorth Castle Garden https://www.aboutbridgnorth.com/bridgnorth-castle/

Surrounding Shropshire

British Ironworks Centre (Oswestry) – https://www.britishironworkcentre.co.uk/
Chester Zoo (Chester) – https://www.chesterzoo.org/
Blue Planet Aquarium (Chester) – https://www.blueplanetaquarium.com/
Sea Life Centre (Birmingham) – https://www.visitsealife.com/birmingham/
Monkey Forest (Stoke) (admission prices) – https://monkey-forest.com/
Trentham Gardens (Stoke) (admission prices) – https://www.trentham.co.uk/
Ice Cream Farm (Chester) (££) – https://www,theicecreamfarm.co.uk/
Ty Mawr (Wrexham) (£1 parking) – https://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/leisure_tourism/TyMawrCountryPark.htm

Posted in days out, museum

Cosford

We are incredibly lucky to live in an area with so much history, Ironbridge, Much Wenlock, Buildwas Abbey, I could go on. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Shropshire and I’m surprised by how many I’ve never been to. Cosford is one of those places, I’ve gone past it on the train but never actually visited.

Cosford opened as a joint aircraft unit in 1938 for the RAF. In the Second World War it delivered Spitfires from the base and returned with bombers or fighters. It now homes the Aerospace Museum which is where we visited. I’ve never been and as Ellie has been amazed by aeroplanes and helicopters we decided to take a short drive out (12 minutes away) to explore the museum and see what it was all about.

RAF Cosford

RAF Cosford Museum was established in 1979 and stores a vast collection of aircraft. The museum explores the story of the RAF and of the thousands of servicemen and women who have served in it and highlights their contributions that has shaped the world that we live in.

I was fascinated by all the different planes and engines that were on show and how close you could get to seeing them all. We first ventured in to the Test Flight area, which is where Ellie had the most fun. The Fun N Flight zone is a hands-on experience where kids (and adults) were able to test out activities. It was great as Ellie was able to do most of the activities and had so much fun! It was a great area to start off with.

We found ourselves in the War In The Air collection which homes the world’s oldest Spitfire and lots of other classic, historical aircraft. It was really interesting for me and Luke as we both love history and learning about new things. Ellie enjoyed her echo more than the actual exhibition but it was lovely hearing her laughing and enjoying herself too!

We ended our visit in the National Cold War Exhibition. This exhibit tells the story of the Cold War and was breathtaking; , Tanks, Planes, Missiles, so much history in one place. There are plenty of interactive hot-spots and kiosks that pick out key aspects of the Cold War.


Unfortunately our visit ended sooner than we’d have liked, a tired toddler who had already ran around a beautiful rose garden in Albrighton, and had walked around the different exhibits had become a cranky, moaning little madam who really just needed to go home.

The Museum is free to enter and relies solely on donations (there are plenty of opportunities to leave a donation if you wish) however parking is quite a hefty £4/£5 depending on how long you plan on staying. However again, due to being a free place to visit the parking charge in understandable to make money.

For anyone local to Cosford, or just happen to be in the area I would highly recommend a visit!

Posted in days out, ironbridge, ironbridge gorge, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, museum, parenting, telford, Toddler Development, Toddler Play

Blists Hill – Telford

Place yourself in the year 1900. Queen Victoria is on the throne and Shropshire was at the heart of the industrial revolution.

One of our trips this half term was to Blists Hill in Ironbridge (Telford, Shropshire) another one of the fantastic museums in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage site. Blists Hill is an open air museum that recreates the sights and sounds of a typical Shropshire Victorian Town.

Walking through the doors to the town you instantly feel like you’ve gone back in time. No cars, no TV;s but a lot of fun awaiting! With 52 acres of land to explore there was so much to see and do throughout our visit. This recreation makes you feel like you are actually walking in a Victorian town; the shops, the houses, the bank where you can change your money to “old money” and the townspeople who truly make your visit feel authentic.

Each house had a different story, whether we were in an old doctors surgery or a typical families house with their shared, cramped bedrooms and bedpans under the bed! Whether it’s walking in to the chemist with their traditional remedies, or to the bakery where you can buy freshly made bread, rolls to either eat straight away or take home there really is something for everyone. If you aren’t interested in those there is a traditional sweet shop or the amazing chip shop selling authentic fish and chips cooked in beef dripping. (Spoiler…they are to die for!!)

Ellie loved having the freedom to run around and explore but didn’t stray too far away. All the townspeople were fantastic with her, not pushing her to interact but all with friendly faces and a world of knowledge of their “character” and the way they would have lived in the Victorian era.

Blists Hill is also home to a section of the Shropshire Canal, which going back 100 years or so would have transported boats up and down the 207ft incline to coalport and back. Wherever there is water, Ellie asks to see the ducks. She loves ducks and walked carefully down the canal side watching the ducks in the water. Along with pigs and Shire Horses (with demonstrations throughout the day and horse and cart rides!) there are many chickens…this was possibly the highlight of Ellie’s entire day!

As I have said in a previous post; we purchased the Annual Passport for all 10 museums which gives us unlimited entry for an entire year. We paid £53 for two Adult annual passports as under 5’s are free to all museums. Entry to Blists Hill alone for 2 adults would have been £20 just to go for the day. Although this isn’t expensive for a trip where we stayed nearly 3 hours and only left because E needed a nap and would have screamed the entire place down we live a 5/10 minute drive away from all of them we will make the most of the year-round entry especially in the Spring/Autumn months – a family of ginger-haired beauty’s don’t do well in too much sunshine so we tend to hide away in the Summer months.

Posted in days out, enginuity, ironbridge, ironbridge gorge, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, museum, parenting, parenting after loss, telford, Toddler Development, Toddler Play

Enginuity – Telford

We visited Enginuity, which is a science museum in Ironbridge, (Telford, Shropshire) during this half term and is one of ten museums in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage site. We are incredibly lucky to have these museums on our doorstep and since Ellie is now a fully grown toddler we thought she might enjoy some of the aspects of these museums.

Enginuity

Ellie is a very curious toddler and loves learning, whether it be through videos or active learning she is always keen to be doing something. Enginuity is perfect for anyone who is curious about science, design and technology and provides a range of stimulating activities for children of all ages. I would say that for a small toddler Ellie found it tricky accessing all the different parts but was able to with a little bit of help.

Looking around there wasn’t a single child who didn’t look like they were having fun and enjoying themselves. I mean who wouldn’t love pulling a real 10-tonne locomotive with their own hands? Actually…there were quite a few adults who seemed to be having quite a lot of fun testing themselves too!

Ellie’s favourite part was the machine that made balls float in the air (can you tell i’m not very sciencey?) and with Daddy’s help she was able to make enough wind power to get the balls floating in the air.

During this half term, we were fortunate enough to take part in the Pop-Up Planetarium they have, which was absolutely out of this world! We managed to get tickets for the first showing of the day and it didn’t disappoint. We were asked to crawl inside a big black dome and sit on the floor and then the dome went very dark. I wasn’t sure how Ellie would cope but the two people delivering the talk were great and accepting of anyone who needed to leave before the show was over. The show was called “Our Earth, Our Sun, Our Solar System and Our Place In Space” and featured a hands-on demonstration. I learnt so much about the stars and how to spot constellations in the night sky and how people in other time periods would spot them. There was so much to take in. Of cause Ellie didn’t learn a thing…it was never about that but she is genuinely interested in the sky and the stars that she loved just looking at the stars surrounding the dome and I guess I felt a little bit closer to Jason by learning something too.

There was also a drop-in workshop where you could make a space-themed pop up card (or anything really!). We tried Ellie with scissors for the first time as they were on the table and she was VERY keen to grab them. She actually did quite well seeing as she’s never held scissors before and my hair is still in tact (she won’t be using them any time soon though.)

The drop-in workshops, planetarium and everything else going on was all included in the admission price which I thought was great. We decided to purchase the Annual Passport tickets which gives us unlimited access to all 10 museums for an entire year (not during evening or special events) as we had already planned to go again and wanted to take Ellie to Blists Hill too (blog post up if anyone wants a read.)

For anyone thinking of taking toddlers and young children, Enginuity has a soft play area too! The colourful space is a fair size and has lots of soft play blocks to build and climb over. Ellie loved building with the soft lego shaped bricks, I think her Dad’s passion for Lego has passed down to her. The soft play was clean and suitable for young children and perfect to get a 5 minute breather from all the stimulation Enginuity offers.

You can visit their website here to find out more or to buy tickets!